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Schumer calls for reauthorization of a fund that helps some Finger Lakes attractions

Feb 19, 2019

Sen. Schumer and Andrew Zepp, Executive Director of the Finger Lakes Land Trust
Credit Greg Cotterill / Finger Lakes Public Radio

Senator Chuck Schumer was in the Finger Lakes region Monday, urging members of the House to reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

Schumer says it provides critical funding that protects water resources and historical sites in every county across the U.S.

The New York Democrat and Senate Minority Leader spoke at the Women’s Rights National Historical Park in Seneca Falls.

“Without the land and water conservation fund the women’s rights park wouldn’t exist, because it provided the funds to purchase the Wesleyan Chapel site where the women’s rights convention was held,” Schumer said.

Schumer says the fund provides critical support for a number of local attractions, such as the Women's Rights National Historical Park in Seneca Falls and the Montezuma Wildlife Refuge.

“It first of course, preserves our history, and preserves our beautiful, natural areas; but second, it’s a source of economic growth; one of the sources of economic growth here, in the Finger Lakes is tourism; one of the reasons we have tourism is right here.”

In the Rochester-Finger Lakes region, Schumer says $11 million in funding has been used for land acquisition and other projects.

The fund, which has been in existence for over 50 years, expired last October. Schumer says that threatens future projects.

Andrew Zepp, the Executive Director of the Finger Lakes Land Trust, says money from the  Land and Water Conservation Fund help add key parcels to New York's only national forest.  He says, "These acquisitions expand opportunities for outdoor recreation while also helping to protect the watersheds of both Cayuga Lake and Seneca Lake.